Fortunately, last week I finished a gorgeous commissioned afghan and I would LOVE to tell you about it.
Santa and Sleigh Afghan
Pattern: Santa and Sleigh Afghan (With far better pictures)
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Needle: US 8?
I received this double-knit, reversible afghan in August, I believe, just as the pictures shows it, only knowing that the customer's mother had passed away before it could be finished. He did not have a pattern for it, so we both assumed I only needed to do the border. Yet, there were some odd stitches along the needle that I could not make any sense of. Were they the bottom of one last star? A mistake? I went to Ravelry, typed in "Santa afghan" (and maybe "sleigh" too), and there is was! I couldn't believe it. The odd stitches were the tops of reindeer antlers, marking the beginning of the other half of the afghan. Remarkable! So I set to work:
I charted everything she had knit so I could simply turn it over and knit it. It took me a month or two to chart it (I should have taken a picture of the GIANT chart. It's still taking up half the living room floor), then I began to knit. I had hoped to finish the blanket by Christmas, but school slowed me down and I was only averaging 20 minutes a row. :S Then I wanted it done by March. Drat school again. By I got it done in May! I finally found a great way to bind off double knitting: tubular bind-off (From TECHknitting, a super ingenious knitting blog!) It's not quick or easy, but it looks fantastic! Essentially all you do is separate the front stitches from the back stitches and kitchener the two sides together. Looks great!
Unfortunately, I worked down to the wire (re-binding-off!) and didn't get any finished pictures (hence these pretty crappy ones), but I hope these will give you an idea.
As he waited for the final few bound-off stitches, the customer told us his mother died quite young--her sixties, if I recall correctly--and suddenly in the waiting room of a doctor's office. She had wanted to knit an afghan for each of her grandchildren with a different pattern. This was the first. As long as it took me and as much work as it required, I absolutely loved working on this blanket every minute (it took me 43 hours and 45 minutes). Learning the rest of the story just made it that much more meaningful for me. I joined a group on Ravelry about half-way through the afghan for knitters who finish the projects of their deceased comrades. I think I will take part in it. I encourage you to do the same. It is remarkable the connection you can make with a fellow knitter just by observing their stitches and mistakes or quirks and fulfilling their unrealized dream.
I was going to do a Work-in-Progress Wednesday post, but was busy with a German project. I have pictures, but they are on my forgotten camera. :P So let me tell you about one of them: the Boyfriend Socks. They are wonderful. I have had to redo them twice already, but finally figured them out (I must have learned something from the sock saga). The boy has a tall instep, so I had to improvise a gusset. It doesn't look great, but it works. I may finish the first one tonight and start the other tomorrow.
I need to finish something quickly because I just implemented a Finish Two, Start One rule and I really want to start my new sweater before it's really, honestly summer! The afghan was the first finished. Now it's a race between the Boyfriend Socks and Anhinga (take 7 or 8). I'd like to take two new projects on our long drive to Seattle (and back!), so I'll have to find a fourth to finish soon, I think....
Enough rambling. I've missed you all! Now it's summertime and I can be a diligent blog reader and writer again! Woohoo! Tell me your summer plans?